Has anyone received any job offers prior to completing or upon completion of the MBSR Teacher Education and Certification? I am really wanting to enroll but am hesitant about the amount of money it will cost. I am trying to gauge the amount of opportunity that is out there for students who complete this training. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
I appreciate this question; it’s important to talk about the practicality of making a living teaching MBSR. From my own experience, it’s tough! I don’t want to be a downer, but it’s nearly impossible–if teaching MBSR on your own is what you plan to do (perhaps going into organizations and such). And the prospects of teaching MBSR within institutions as an employee are few. I worked on my own for years and eked out a living teaching MBSR, but it had me working constantly. And now, with more teachers trained to teach MBSR, it’s even more difficult to earn a living solely from this. If you’re in a position where teaching MBSR is not your only source of income, of course that makes things easier. I’d be sure to look for a great teacher training program that allows you to start teaching, with strong mentorship, early in the training so that you can earn money to offset the cost of your training–with the mentorship helping you grow, develop, and become more confident as you teach.
What I have found is that you need to create your own opportunities. For example, in my high school where I work as a French teacher, I proposed a one-semester mindfulness course for my students. I was fortunate that my admin team was on board with the idea (having a school climate/student survey demonstrated the need quickly however) and the course took off so quickly that I was able to implement a second semester mindfulness course. I am now teaching four sections of mindfulness and 3 sections of French (we have another French teacher who picks up the other sections).
If you are interested in going the education route, I strongly suggest getting buy-in from admins and teachers first by offering a before or after school workshop or several weekly sessions. Once a few educators get on board, you can offer courses to them for a fee (speak with the HR department to see if they would be willing to pick up half of the cost - it will help reduce stress in their employees!) and then perhaps then propose a course for the students.
I’ve been teaching MBSR for 16 years, full time since 2008. Student tuition, paid out of pocket, has represented 90% of my MBSR income. I am sometimes hired to do workplace MBSR programs and teach MBSR for research studies, but I’ve never been able to depend on these coming along. It’s not very secure work. When I think back to when I was newly trained, I was working full time in another field and MBSR was something that I got to do, purely out of love. I think that’s an ideal situation. I hope I can continue doing this full time, but enrollment has dropped in recent years as there are now so many apps and other ways to learn and explore mindfulness. MBSR employment is unpredictable, but if you feel called to it, and can get the money together, the trainings are wonderfully enriching in their own right. Who know what doors may open for you if you pursue what you love.